Saturday, March 24, 2012

Eye-See-Yew, Noobz.*

You Wish, Guys.
 “Spook: as spectre, ghost, revenant, remnant of death, the madness lingering after the corpse is sloughed off. Slang for intelligence agent; agent of uncertainty, agent of fear, agent of fright.”
- Via Jack Warmack, as quoted on William Gibson's Blog.

“The FBI and CIA hate each other, and they both hate the telephone company. The telephone company, in turn, seems to hate everybody.”
- John Keel, The Mothman Prophecies.
Believe me when I say that I'm a child of the 21st century. You might not believe it, reading this blog, but it's true. I'm not really much of a misanthrope; I wasn't supposed to grow up in some other time and place. I still wouldn't have worked right in any other time.

And I love my technology. I don't think it's going to save the world, but that's a discussion for another day. Well, actually, let me say this briefly: when I was watching Kurzweil in The Transcendental Man there came a point where the digital file (I was using a USB-flash drive to watch the digital file on someone else's xBox, of course) had a momentary glitch. Right about the time one fellow was saying, “I think technology will save us...”

The recording paused itself. And then we got a call from DeusExMachina, and he said: “turn on the t.v.”

The Tsunami had just hit Japan, and one of the first explosions at the reactor had occurred. I'm pretty sure reality straight up told me, “FUCK technology as a savior.”

So. Y'know. I'm just sayin'. Don't count overmuch on the Singularity. As exponential growth occurs with technology, the risk of monumental disaster also increases drastically. We tend to blow one another up with our toys long before we, say, try and cure cancer.

Anyway. I notice when something weird redirects to my blog. And I take some interest when that something is cellular phone spy software.

Now, maybe someone out there has a boss who thinks he's James Bond, or something. Fair enough. You probably signed a piece of paper that generally said, “everything I say, do, and use this phone for will be monitored.” It's a legitimate purpose, and this software caters to that sort of thing.

How it works is this: someone installs the software on your phone, with or without you knowing, and then registers the phone number with the website selling the software. A short text message for confirmation is sent to the handset, and once confirmation is made just about 90% of what you do thereafter is redirected to a website owned by the company selling the software, where the person who registered the phone with them can check up on it. This includes things like browser use (hence how I know they crossed this blog by using a shitty redirect URL; we'll get to that), text messages, maybe keylogged strokes (including possibly notes you make, etc, depending on the software), and they may even be able to record your goddamn phone calls. I'm not sure. I've seen that advertised, but who knows how well it actually works? Oh, and GPS triangulation. Who could forget that?

If you signed an agreement for a company phone, you already knew this was going to happen. If you have a slightly tech-savvy ex who wants to stalk you more effectively, then this is a huge problem.

Most of the companies selling these software packages use taglines like: “STOP CORPORATE ESPIONAGE! TRACK YOUR CHILDREN! KNOW WHAT YOUR EMPLOYEES ARE DOING!”

So, after the CEO of some podunk local company reads or sees Casino Royale, he can go and play James Bond or pretend he's Archer. (Meanwhile, without a legal disclaimer, this is oh-so-illegal. The only real legitimate use is for employers to monitor traffic – with the right documents signed and agreed to – and parents to creep on their kids in weird ways.)

Meanwhile, he's still not as clever as he thinks. And neither is that creepy ex possibility.

mSpy, the company making the software I'm discussing is not very clever at all. They redirect the traffic from their server-sinkholes from the same website that sells the software. Apparently these guys don't know what the word “PROXY” means. I'd tell them how to run a more efficient company, but fuck that. At present they might as well be redirecting traffic off “this-phone-has-no-spy-software-on-it-honest-guv.net”.

I hope they get out of the business, because they suck as amateur spooks. Given the level of ineptitude, I won't suggest they bother writing anonymizing software and helping make the world a better place, either. Instead I hope they just plain go under.

How can you know? Well, your bandwidth usage is going to shoot way, way up on your cell bills. Because of so much redirecting, the usage to the service provider is going to be about double. Meaning that your boss really isn't James Bond, either. He's just racking up a way higher bill as he tries to micromanage bullshit. It also means that sexting your partner is not smart on the company phone, noob.

In the event you have a shit ex, and there isn't anyone who is working for 00Wanker, I recommend a poppet to blind his/her eyes and ears in the most brutal fashion possible. S/He deserves it in such an event... Oh, yeah. And get the handset wiped by your provider. Seriously.
Edit: Now with moar wankery... Also getting blog redirects (2 hits in 24 hours) from another cell survaillance company with software catering to Cheater catching. Well, that solves that mystery. Wipe yo' handset, yo.

No comments: